Valentine’s Day Etiquette

Whether you accidentally forget to notice it’s the 14th February, or anticipate St Valentine’s cupid deeds… Ladette to Lady and The Party Bible etiquette expert Liz Brewer explains how to enjoy yourself this Valentine’s Day.

Should you celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Some love it, finding it magical and romantic. But you can’t force it if it’s not in someone’s personality. It’s lost it’s original significant but it’s still a nice occasion.

Who should instigate Valentine’s Day plans and romance?

Always the man, otherwise it diminishes the occasion. Girls can invite men but if he says no, it’s humbling and deflating for the woman.

What is the correct Valentine’s Day etiquette?

The Card: It’s always difficult. It’s not signed, but you want the receiver to have an inkling, so perhaps write a poem or message to indicate.

The Day: you want to spend it with someone special, but 50% of the time that doesn’t happen. If the man’s decided he’ll ask you out. If not, a party is a great way to make sure the one you’ve got your eye on is there. Many girls go out for lunch together.

What is the correct dinner etiquette?

Be gracious. Take your lead from him. He’s taken the courage and is trying to impress so allow him to take charge. If he invites you to have champagne, say what a lovely idea, are you going to have one? Leave the choice of wine to him, they’re all different prices. Choose food that’s not too difficult to eat. Don’t hog the conversation. Learn to listen – ask about him.

Remove gristles in your teeth discretely. Excuse yourself. If you can’t, do it behind your hand. Touch up lipstick discretely too – put it on your finger under the table and dab it on lips when no one’s looking. Don’t overdo makeup. It’s better to do it so it doesn’t look you’ve got it on as men prefer the natural look.

Can you get away with more on Valentine’s Day?

It’s like Christmas and mistletoe – but there’s kissing and there’s kissing. You can be a little cheekier, but don’t push too hard. Allow the evening to flow, don’t force things. Behave correctly. Don’t drink too much on the first date. Let him take you home and then leave you – even if you’re swept off your feet! Men are hunters. They love to persue. That’s why they love fishing. If he caught a fish on the first time, he wouldn’t go back. Play hard to get.

How do you get over the cheesy occasion?

It’s not cheesy; it’s a significant occasion. He’s paying you a compliment!

Liz’s new book ‘Social Behaviour in the 21st century’ is out later this year.

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